Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 month ago

Is there a permanent remedy for noisy scratchy potentiometers besides replacement ?

Some people suggest Deoxit, WD40 contact cleaner or WD40 dry lube. 

I’ve tried all of these and more.  Contact cleaners and lubes “fix” the problem TEMPORARILY, but eventually the noise always comes back.

Does anyone have a permanent solution besides trying to find a replacement potentiometer? 

Thanks.

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Noise from potentiometer was caused by cheap made parts that using metal contact on inside resistance material surface. That best type using carbon contact that would not easily getting this trouble, most high grade amplifier device uses this type parts. To solve your cheap made part trouble, replace it with a new good quality one is the proper way. If no such replacement parts can be found ( size and resistance value ) , I commonly take out the parts from device, open it and carefully clean inside well with 99% pure alcohol to remove all the dust and carbon fragment, then apply a thin layer of electrical silicon compound on resistance surface, reassemble back the whole parts and solder back into device. It will work again and no more scratching noise.

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  • 1 month ago

    One way to fix a noisy pot is to turn off the power to the device. Turn the pot back and forth, all the way, several times, then try it again. Contact lube spray will help also, but it tends to collect dust.

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  • Steven
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If the pot is made of cheap materials then it will always corrode and fail after a short time. There are exotic solutions like stepped attenuators and electronic attenuators but you probably just want to buy a better pot. Note that noise vs drop-out means the circuit has DC on the pot caused by a cheap circuit that saved on a coupling capacitor and bias resistor, which can be modified and fixed.

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  • 1 month ago

    Sorry. You can't readily unbreak the broken interface. Put in a new pot and get over it.

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  • 1 month ago

    Many of the potentiometers on older and 'vintage' audio equipment were special made for the particular unit, and a usable replacement is often unavailable.  DeoxIt D5 is a good start for cleaning and de-oxidizing, but you would want to follow up with a lubricant/sealer.  Consider DeoxIt FaderLube.  I'd never suggest WD40 - it can soften and eventually destroy the carbon track.

    Oh, and nothing is permanent, the scratchiness will eventually come back.  In the long run, the pots will just plain wear out. 

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  • 1 month ago

    Easier, cheaper and SAFER to just replace it! Spend double to get the best one, do it yourself, and call it a day. Probably under $10US

    If you get a good scientific one, or an 'audio' one, they should be fine.

    Match to shaft diameter & length, and the resistance ratings and you should be fine.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Replace them.  No cleaning will fix a shorted resistor.

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